Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Frankly estimating every exam result was always going to be a problem

 It looks like all thl legislators in the UK are facing questions over "botched"  estimates which have resulted in thousands if exam results  being down graded.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has apologised after accepting her government "did not get it right" over Scottish exam results.

With no exams sat this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) ran a system based on teacher assessments.

However, officials then applied a moderation technique which led to about 125,000 estimates being downgraded.

The first minister said this approach was too focused on the "overall system" and not enough on individual pupils.

Education Secretary John Swinney will set out the government's plan to fix the issue on Tuesday, with Ms Sturgeon saying the onus would not be on students to submit appeals.

Opposition parties are pushing for a vote of no confidence in the education secretary, but Ms Sturgeon said she had faith in Mr Swinney and that the row was "not party political".

Meanwhile as  the opposition parties call for Mr Swinney's head Ministers in England  are under immense pressure over the botched handling of English A-level results after Scotland announced a dramatic U-turn and major research showed that high-achieving pupils from poorer backgrounds are likely to be hardest hit.

The universities minister was writing urgently to vice-chancellors, asking them to be lenient with their offers and keep places open for pupils pursuing appeals amid fears that this year’s results will not truly reflect pupils’ abilities.

Schools in England and Wales are braced for turmoil on Thursday when about 250,000 pupils are due to receive their A-level results following the cancellation of exams due to the coronavirus pandemic. Grades will be issued according to an algorithm that relies on a school’s recent exam history and each pupil’s past exam results, as well as grades submitted by teachers.

It is likely the results in Wales will also face criticism and it is probably doubtful if Ministers  outside Scotland have  had the time to learn from the errors in Scotland and changed  the approach to estimate scores.

It was always going to be difficult and whilst Scotland have faced heavy criticism it may because they announced their results early and there fore face the biggest backlash.

To be honest i don't know how you would approach the scenario where every student sees tier grade estimated. 

In normal times there are always a small number of cases which led to their graders being estimated and it probably means that some actually benefit and some lose out  in such a scenario.

Clearly all the legislators and exam boards have had plenty of time to work pout how to address the issue , but frankly one wonders how they could resolve it and keep everyone happy.

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